The Attorneys' Comparative Sentence Chart

Justice4JP Release - December 15, 2000

This sentencing chart was drawn up by Jonathan Pollard's attorneys, Eliot Lauer and Jacques Semmelman, for inclusion in a renewed appeal for clemency submitted to the White House in December 2000. It compares the life sentence of Jonathan Pollard with the sentences received in other recent cases of espionage for friendly nations.

Jonathan Pollard is the only person in the history of the United States to receive a life sentence for spying for an ally.

Sentences Imposed on Persons Who Spied for Friendly Nations


Country Spied For


Michael Schwartz Saudi Arabia Navy discharge (no jail time)
Peter Lee China 1 year in halfway house (no jail time)
Samuel Morison Great Britain 2 years
Phillip Selden El Salvador 2 years
Frederick Hamilton Ecuador 37 months
Geneva Jones Liberia 37 months
Virginia Jean Baynes Philippines 41 months
Abdul Kader Helmy Egypt 4 years
Sharon Scranage Ghana 5 years
Joseph Brown Philippines 6 years
Michael Allen Philippines 8 years
Steven Baba South Africa 8 years
Robert Kim South Korea 9 years
Thomas Dolce South Africa 10 years
Steven Lalas Greece 14 years

Jonathan Pollard


Life imprisonment

* In many instances, the time actually served was considerably less.

Primary source: Website of the Defense Security Service (, which describes itself as "provid[ing] security services to the Department of Defense" and as being "under the direction, authority, and control of the Assistant Secretary of Defense."

Justice4JP Note:

Examples of actual time served being "considerably less" include the case of

Sharon Scranag

e above, and the case of

Steven Baba


Sharon Scranage's

sentence of 5 years was reduced to 2 years, of which she served only 3 months.

Steven Baba

, originally sentenced to 8 years, had his sentence reduced to 2 years of which he served only 5 months!

These examples were documented in the Rule 35 Motion submitted to the Court after Jonathan Pollard was sentenced to Life in 1987.

Here is an excerpt from that document:

"In vivid contrast, persons acting on behalf of non-Soviet countries have received far lesser sentences. For example, Enseign Steven Baba was court-martialed for having sent documents relating to electronic warfare secrets and indices of code words to the South African Embassy. The court imposed a sentence of 8 years at hard labor, yet under a plea bargain the sentence was reduced to 2 years. . *[Justice4JP Note: Baba served only 5 months of his sentence and was then released.] See NY Times articles dated December 4, 1981 and December 18,1981 and January 12, 1982, attached hereto as Exhibits T, U, and V. Similarly Sharon Scranage gave her boyfriend, a Ghana national, information gained as a CIA employee relating to the names of CIA operatives in Ghana. Although this information could have resulted in the loss of lives, the court sentenced Ms.Scranage to 5 years. Shortly thereafter, the court reduced the sentence to 2 years. *[Justice4JP Note: Scranage served only 8 months of her 2 year sentence and was then released.] See NY Times article dated April 11, 1986, attached hereto as Exhibit X. In both cases, the nation receiving the information was not considered an ally of the United States. Indeed neither country even had particularly friendly relations with the United States."
See Also:
  • Justice4JP Comparative Sentences Chart
  • Pollard Attorneys Renew Appeal for Clemency
  • Statement of Remorse and Renewed Appeal for Clemency